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Charging Champions January 2018

Every month we look for two Charging Champions. In other words, two EV-drivers who drive as many electric kilometers as possible. We talk with them about their experiences and charging behavior.

Charging Champion BEV - Gijsbert Spek

Gijsbert Spek, Managing Director at fish company Pefa, has been driving an electric Opel Ampera-e since December. He is very enthusiastic about driving an electric car and is especially pleased with the driving comfort. He would, therefore, recommend everyone to drive electric.

What do you think of driving electric?

I’m really enjoying it. It’s very comfortable to drive.The engine braking (one-pedal driving) works very well and, of course, has a positive impact on my electric range. Since I started driving an electric car, I’ve been keeping a closer eye on my consumption. I’m much more aware of the impact of air conditioning and heating on the electric range of my car.

What do you think the future of electric driving will bring for you?

More and more affordable cars with an acceptable range are appearing on the market. Over the next few years, I’m expecting strong growth. I think that even more affordable cars with a decent range, such as the Ampera-e, need to be released. The charging options in residential areas should also be expanded further for people who can’t charge at their own home.

What does your family think of your electric car?

They’re sometimes surprised when they find out how sporty you can drive an electric vehicle.

How would you convince your neighbor to drive an electric car?

I would talk about the driving comfort.

Charging Champion BEV - Gido Roelofs

Gido Roelofs, Sales Representative at Paperclip Cards, has been driving an e-Golf for several months. There are still obstacles at times, but Mr. Roelofs would definitely recommend an electric car.

Why did you start driving an electric car?

I used to drive a Volkswagen Golf. Then I discovered the electric options, which I showed to my boss. After a week of test driving, I had been won over.

What do you think of driving electric?

It’s excellent. It does mean that you have to start planning your day in a different way. I often have to visit shopping streets, where there aren’t many charge points. There is often one just a street away, so it’s never really a problem. I did have a bit of range anxiety to start with, but in fact, I’m now completely used to it. It would help if there were more fast chargers, and the electric ranges indicated by car manufacturers are not completely realistic. My car can drive for around 260 kilometers rather than 300.

Do you drive differently now than before?

I feel calmer when I’m driving. Two weeks ago, I drove to the island of Texel in my electric car for a weekend away; I drove there in a couple of hours without any issues and I was able to find plenty of charge points. The real joy is seeing everyone scraping their windows in the morning. My car defrosts itself — scraping the windows is a thing of the past.

What does your family think of your electric car?

My friends always think there’s still a “back-up” petrol option and are really surprised when I tell them there isn’t.

Do you have any tips for new EV drivers?

Try it out, see how smoothly they run, how quiet they are and how quickly they can accelerate. Overtaking, in particular, is really enjoyable. I would recommend that everyone takes a really good look at the actual range and thinks about where they need to go and how they want to use the car.

Would you like to be the Charging Champion in the coming month? Every month, we’re looking for an EV driver with a fully electric car and an EV-driver with a Plug-in Hybrid car, who have driven the most kilometers electrically. You still have the whole month to recharge and drive as much as possible electrically!